Friday, 27 April 2018

Cajun Pork Burgers

I thoroughly enjoy a good burger, especially one which is meaty and full of flavour. I normally make 
beef burgers but I fancied something different and as I have 5 cookbooks dedicated to burgers I decide to make a burger that was slightly different. Pork mince is full of flavour and relatively low in fact so I thought I would make the Cajun pork burgers. The Cajun spice adds a warmth flavour and the mashed sweet potato adds an (obviously) sweet flavour. 

Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus chilling
Cook Time : 35-45 minutes

225g sweet potatoes , cut into chunks
450g pork mince
1 eating apple, peeled, cored and grated
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
450g onions
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
2 tbsp sunflower oil
8-12 lean back bacon rashers
salt and pepper

Cook the sweet potato in a saucepan of lightly salted boiling water for 15-20 minutes, or until soft when pierced with a fork. Drain well, then mash and reserve.
Place the pork in a bowl, add the mashed potato, apple and Cajun seasoning. Grate one of the onions and add to the pork mixture with the coriander and salt and pepper to taste. Mix together, then shape into four to six equal-sized patties. Cover and leave to chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Slice the remaining onions. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan. Add the onions and cook over a low heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring until soft. Remove the frying pan from the heat and reserve. Wrap each patty in two bacon rashers. 
Preheat the barbecue. Cook the patties over the to coals, bruising with the remaining oil, for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until thoroughly cooked. Alternatively, cook in a griddle pan or under a hot grill. Serve immediately with the fried onions.


Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Ackee and Bacon Tart revisited

Ackee and Bacon Tart
Ackee, the plump yellow fruit with black seeds, which tastes similar to scrambeled eggs is the national fruit of Jamaica. It also is one half of the national dish “Ackee and Saltfish”. Although ackee is a fruit, it is primarily eaten in savoury dishes and must be cooked before eating. Ackee only grows 
in warmer climates so I have always eaten tinned ackee, but that’s ok, the plump yellow fruit still tastes wonderful, whether it’s from a tin or not.

 My nan would often cook my sister and I, Ackee and Saltfish, or Ackee & Bacon for a quick and easy evening meal. In this dish, I combine my love for ackee and bacon with my love of pastry, in particular tarts to create this wonderful breakfast tart. Depending upon my mood, I will have a slice of my ackee and bacon tart with a dollop of ketchup, or garlic mushrooms.

Ackee and Bacon tart
Preparation time 20 minutes
Cooking time 40 minutes
Number of servings 6

You will need
A frying pan, measuring jug, whisk and a 28cm fluted loose bottom flan tin.

For the pastry
1 ready to roll shortcrust packet

For the filling
1 tbsp vegetable oil
155g bacon lardons
1 red pepper, stems removed, thinly sliced
1 yellow pepper, stems removed, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, stems removed, thinly sliced
2 spring onions, thinly sliced.
300g creme fraiche
3 eggs, lightly beaten
75g medium cheddar cheese.
1 tin (280g) of ackee

Preheat the oven to gas mark 6, place the pastry in the tin, trimming off the excess, line the tin with the baking parchment and fill with dried pulses. Bake on the top shelf for 15 minutes, remove the dried pulses and bake for a further 5 minutes.

Whilst the pastry is blind baking, pour the oil in the frying pan and cook the bacon lardons, sliced peppers and spring onions for around 8 minutes.

Pour 300ml crème fraiche, eggs and 30g of the cheese in a measuring jug and whisk. Open the tin of ackee, drain the water from the tin and set aside. 

Once the pastry has blind baked, remove from the oven, scatterthe bacon, peppers, spring onions, ackee and pour over the egg - creme fraiche mixture. Finally, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the tart. Place the tart in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the filling no longer wobbles.  Leave to rest for 5 minutes before slicing to wedges.


Sunday, 5 June 2016

Orange Marmalade Pork Burgers for National Barbecue Week

I love a good ol burger; juicy, succulent and with interesting flavours, I eat burgers all year round. Many people eat more burgers in the Summer months, when the barbecue is out, Summer is longer and al fresco dining is the order of the day. To celebrate National Barbecue week May 30th - 5th June,  Four Walls, a company who provides inspiration and ideas for your home, is teaming up with bloggers to create all things barbecued related. As BBQ's are a great way to use out outdoor space in our homes, there are some interesting articles on their site.
I wanted to create a recipe something a little different for National Barbecue Week and combined my love of pork and citrus to make pork and orange marmalade burgers. Pork burgers is perhaps less popular then beef but I think it's a great base for adding flavours and for something a little bit different. The orange marmalade adds a tang to the burgers and the mustard adds a slight heat. I served my orange marmalade burgers with fries, plantain chips, rum punch and a serving of scotch bonnet peppers. 

Makes 4
500g lean pork mince
2 tablespoon orange marmalade
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon English mustard
1 tablespoon salt
4 burger rolls

Cheddar cheese

Add the pork mince, orange marmalade, garlic cloves, rosemary, mustard and salt in a mixing bowl. Using your hands, mix the ingredients together until everything is well mixed. Try to ensure that you do not over mix everything as this is likely to make a tougher burger. Shape the mince into 4 patties and place (on a plate) in the fridge to firm up for at least 30 minutes. When your barbecue is ready place the burgers on the grill and cook for around 10 minutes, flipping over several times and until the juices run clear.



Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Win an Alfresco Sausage Supper Kit

BBC Good Food Show Summer is around the corner and this is my favourite show to showcase artisan producers. I would like to introduce you to a new brand which I have recently discovered,  Debbie and Andrews who sell a range of premium sausages such as their signature Harrogate sausages alongside the Kentish Apple and Cider and more unique flavours Corination Chicken and Curried Chicken and Mango. debbie & andrew's also sell a range of wheat, gluten free and dairy free sausages in a variety of flavours, which is great if you have an allergy. With so many interesting flavours, I am looking forward to trying the Curried Chicken and Mango sausages, this was voted as the fans favourite, so I can't wait to try this for a luxury breakfast. 
If you are heading to the BBC Good Food Show, pop over to their stand and try the range of samples. The lovely people at debbie & andrew's are giving 5 lucky readers a recipe book containing their favourite recipes a cool bag and 4 x vouchers worth £25 redeemable at Asda, Morrisons, Sainsburys and Tescos. To be in with a chance you have to follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter.

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Sunday, 10 April 2016

Breakfast Salad of Bacon, Eggs Fried Bread and Frisse

Now that Spring is upon us, my palette is more open to having salads. It's not that I dislike salad, but salad for me, is similar to soup in that I associate both with seasons. This salad, inspired by the classic breakfast dish bacon and eggs, is taken from the Spring chapter in Harry Eastwood's wonderful book "A Salad For All Seasons". I enjoyed this during a mid-week lunch and whilst I enjoy bacon and eggs in a bap or sandwiched between toast, this salad, is a brilliant and healthier spin on a classic.

Serves 2 

120g lardons
100g stale bread, broken into chunks
a little salt and black pepper
2 large free-range eggs
a small head frisse lettuce
1 small banana shall, cut into tiny dice

For the dressing
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp mayonnaise
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp half-fat creme fraiche
1 tsp white wine vinegar

Set a full kettle on to boil. Heat the lardons in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat until golden and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the stale bread to the pan with the lardon juices and season with a little salt and pepper. Once the bread is crunch and coloured, turn off the heat and set aside. Do not wash the pan,
Meanwhile, lower the eggs into boiling water and cook for exactly 6 minutes. This will ensure you have a cooked egg with a runny middle.
Next, whisk the mustard, mayonnaise, olive oil and creme fraiche in the now empty frying pan until combined. Thin down the dressing with the vinegar then taste and season.
Toss the salad leaves into the pan and coat them with the dressing before dividing between two plates. Scatter the lardons, fried bread and dices shallot over the top.
Peel the eggs and cut in half. Set on top of the finished salad with a crunch of black pepper. Serve warm.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Caribbean Green Seasoned Pork Chops

Green seasoning is a fragrant, widely used type of seasoning throughout the Caribbean. Depending upon which island you or your family are originally from, is likely to influence on how popular green seasoning is used. My family being Jamaican, this is not a seasoning we would use often, compared to say curry or jerk, nevertheless it is a seasoning that is used. Islands where there tends to be a greater Indian or Spanish influence such as Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba and Puerto Rico, this type of seasoning is more popular - don't ask me why, I can answer that a 100%, but I suppose it's likely to do with the diversity of ethnicities.
What I love about these green seasoned pork chops, is that the pork chops are moist and succulent, but aromatic flavoured. I don't always fancy heat (step away from the scotch bonnet), but I always want flavour. Big bold flavours.

You will need a food processor and oven proof dish.
Serves 3
3 pork loins
2 stalks of celery, sliced
2 spring onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves
7g fresh coriander, sliced
7g fresh parsley
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp salt
30 ml water
pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to gas mark 6. Wash the vegetables and cut the vegetables into bite size junks, place in the food processor alongside the oil and salt and pepper . Pulse until the vegetables are blended of a similar consistency of pesto. Smoother the pork loins with the green seasoning and place in a baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes, turning over during the mid way point. Serve with potatoes, salad or sourdough bread.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Roast Pork Belly with Shrimp and Apple

It's almost Christmas, Yay.  What do you eat during the run up to Christmas? Do you start going all festive  on the 1st December, during the Christmas week, or are you only festive on the actual day? Are you one of those that have dinner parties during December or perhaps a special Christmas Eve meal. There are so many incredible seasonal festive recipes during the run up to Christmas. I think this time of the year, is not only indulgent, the fact that we say the majority of us tend to over indulge on the day, but meats and ingredients which are can be deemed as a special treat are frequently eaten.
I wanted to share a recipe that I recently tried, after the lovely people at Stoves Kitchen asked me to recreate one of their festive recipes. I could have opted for a lighter soup, but being the winter season and the season for indulgence and winter flavours, I decided on cooking Glynn Purnell's Roast Pork Belly with Shrimp and Apple. I love pork belly so this was an immediate choice. Pork belly is an economical family favourite, readily available from butchers and supermarkets. I've never had pork belly with shrimp, it never crossed my mind to combine pork with shrimp, an ultimate twist on the surf and turf. The oven does the majority of the work in this dish, which is perfect if you don't want to be hovering over the stove. Also the delicate flavours that  come through to the melt in your mouth pork belly and the light crunch of the prawns is a wonderful combination. I served this wonderful dish with crispy roast potatoes and green beans.

Take a look on their site, there are such a wonderful and diverse range of recipes from our well loved and trusted chefs and have a #StovesChristmas.

  • 1/2 boneless pork belly
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 shallot, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp baby capers
  • 100ml apple juice
  • 1 large English Bramley apple, diced
  • 500g shrimps , peeled and blanched (I used prawns) 
  • 1/2 tbsp chopped sage
  • 1 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • Splash of cream
  • Knob of butter
Pre-heat oven to 190°C.
Place the pork on a roasting rack, stab all over with a roasting fork. Put salt and black pepper over the pork.
Cook for 2 hours, leave to rest.
Add the shallot to the juices in the tray over heat, and when soft add the capers and apple juice and reduce. 
Add apple, shrimps, chopped herbs, splash of cream and knob of butter.
Carve the pork then serve the shrimp stew all over the pork. Eat with a dollop of mash or crispy summer cabbage.
Disclaimer: Stoves Kitchen asked me to participate in this challenge.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Sweet Potato, Bacon & Red Pepper Tart

I love tarts, quiches and pies. The versatile thing about tarts, quiches and pies that it can be adapted to  the seasons outside. I adore this sweet potato, bacon and red pepper combination, a hearty and comforting Autumn supper which will be on the table under one hour.


Thursday, 24 September 2015

Nosh and Quaff

If you are a foodie in Birmingham or the surrounding areas, you would have known that Nosh and Quaff opened in July. Nosh and Quaff is the brainchild of Aktar Islam and Jabber Khan who owns Lasan and Fiesta del Asado. Located on the trendy Colmore Row, right next to Victoria Square, this is perfect for the city workers, those fancy a bite to eat after work alongside those that want an informal yet sophisticated restaurant. I attended the launch party and was greeted by ladies on stilts which was was a warm friendly welcome and set the scene for the informal eating requirements here #letsgetmessy. Inside the restaurant, I found this to be dimly lit, I would have preferred a more brighter and lighter restaurant but there were also numerous positives which I found as soon as I waked in. I liked the combination of the different seating areas, it reminded me of an American diner, there was a combination of tables and bar stools. The ground floor had a more party vibe to it, perhaps due to the launch party and there was music pumping out, I wanted to hear myself talk so asked to be seated upstairs. This was not an issue, the staff were incredibly friendly and attentive throughout the meal and I loved their trendy denim uniform. I much preferred being seated upstairs, there was a live band, stunning views of Birmingham and an ideal place to host a group meal. 

The most important reason why we were there, the food. For the mains I felt it was necessary that I ordered the lobster after all this is one of the stars of the menu. Described as grilled fresh large whole, split with a garlic and lemon butter sauce, I was salivating reading the menu. When my lobster arrived, the lobster meat inside was tender and juicy and the accompanying sauce was light and fresh. Unfortunately my lobster was not piping hot and was just warm. I’m not sure the reason for this but it was a bit of a disappointment. The lobster was reasonably priced at £20 and the fries which accompanied it was well seasoned and crispy. The pork ribs which my nan ordered described as four-bone rib of naturally reared Hampshire pig in a peppery, mustard rub served with homemade slaw. I sampled the pork ribs, which I found to be delicious, peppery and meaty.

The side dishes were the Nosh and Quaff salad (£5) and Corn on the Cob. All which tasted good and I felt was reasonably priced. No restaurant with the hash tag #letsgetmessy would be complete without a decadent range of deserts, although there were 3 options they were perfect for rounding up the meal. The Rocky Road (£5) described as “ rich chocolate brownie, nut brittle, marshmallow ice-cream and loads of chocolate sauce. The other options are cheesecake and sharing sundae. As a chocoholic I can say that the chocolate dessert was sublime: indulgent, crunchy, moreish and sublime.

Overall: If my main courses were piping hot then there would be no hesitation on returning; I loved the menu concept and vibe of the restaurant.
Positives: helpful staff, great location and a great place for informal restaurant.

Not so good: My lobster was not piping hot.

Disclaimer: I dined as a guest of Nosh and Quaff. 
Nosh and Quaff Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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